Los pequeños estarán encantados y se sentirán identificados con las travesuras de Olivia... y los adultos compadecerán a su pobre madre que posee un amor y una paciencia casi infinitos.
Ian Falconer ha diseñado decorados y vestuarios para la Royal Opera House y para Convent Garden, entre otros. Es pintor e ilustrador y su trabajo ha sido portada de varios números de The New Yorker Review. Vive en Nueva York y Olivia es su primer libro ilustrado.
About the Author
Hometown:New York, New York
Date of Birth:August 25, 1959
Place of Birth:Ridgefield, Connecticut
Education:Studied art history at New York University and painting at Parsons School of Design and Otis Art Institute
Table of Contents
Ian Falconer Talks About Olivia
Q. We know that the Olivia books are about your niece, but are there any autobiographical parts as well? If so, what?
A. Of course. One always draws on one's own experiences as well. I was always a very busy child -- making things.
Q. How did you decide to portray Olivia as a pig?
A. Pigs are very intelligent creatures. They seem to have a more human quality than, say, chickens -- like dogs.
Q. Were you surprised by Olivia's enormous success?
A. Yes. I was completely overwhelmed.
Q. You have worked in a wide variety of artistic media, including set design, costume design, magazine illustration, and book illustration. What do you like best about creating children's books?
A. I've always felt that children's books are for the most part condescending toward children and miss how smart children are. Their little hands and mouths may not be able to articulate what is going on in their sharp little brains. Writing children's books is an opportunity to express this, and it seems to be appreciated by both children and adults.
Q. Olivia's family plays a supporting role in both books. Are any of the characters in Olivia's family based on your own family?
A. All of the characters are my sister's family: my niece Olivia's parents, her two little brothers, and their cat and dog. But they are all just peripheral. It's really all about Olivia -- at least in her mind!
Q. Why did you choose to illustrate Olivia in only black, red, and white, rather than in full color? And what is the significance of the salmon color in Olivia Saves the Circus?
A. By eliminating most colors, it helps you focus on facial expressions and graphic situations without a lot of color and details obscuring the basic emotional architecture of the story. Salmon comes from Olivia's dream-world palette. More theatrical.
Q. The work of Jackson Pollock has become instantly recognizable to young children since your inclusion of one of his paintings in Olivia. How did you come to select that painting in particular?
A. Because most kids would look at it and say, "I could do that in about five minutes."
Q. Many people have remarked upon the unusual portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt on the wall of Olivia's bedroom in Olivia Saves the Circus. Why did you select Mrs. Roosevelt to be featured in the book and why this particular portrait of her?
A. I chose Eleanor Roosevelt because she is a great role model and because it's totally absurd. This particular picture is animated and funny.
Q. What were some of your favorite books as a child?
Q. What artists do you consider to be your greatest influences?
A. Picasso and Matisse (although you wouldn't know it from the books).
Q. Did you have a favorite pet as a child? Do you have any pets now?
A. Yes. A dachshund named Runzel and a seagull named Henry.
Q. You had a seagull?
A. I found it after it had been abandoned, so it was semi-wild. Eventually he was released into the wild.
Q. Did you particularly like the circus as a child? Did/do you have a favorite circus attraction?
A. Yes, I enjoyed the circus. There was an old clown named Lou Jacobs in the Ringling Brothers circus who did an act as a hunter with a dachshund dressed as a bunny rabbit.
Q. Did you ever tell an outlandish "show and tell" story of your own?
A. No, not that I remember. Although I had a very active imagination, I was very shy in front of other people. (But I dressed up a lot.)
Q. Where is your next Olivia book going to take your heroine?
A. Only Olivia knows!
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